For 2006, the Maybach receives a high-performance edition, the 57 S. It stands for “Special”, and this model is: it carries a turbocharged 6.0-litre V12 that makes 612 horsepower, and with a stiffer suspension for performance-oriented driving. As big as it is, the 57 S will reach zero to 100 km/h in five seconds.

Each engine is built entirely by hand by a single craftsman, whose signature appears on the engine cover. Other exclusive features include twin tailpipes in a redesigned rear apron, new 20-inch spoked wheels, and carbon fibre or wood interior trim.

The Maybach 57 and 62 models continue unchanged. Produced by DaimlerChrysler, the Maybach’s two models are named for their lengths of 5.7 and 6.2 metres respectively. Both use a 5.5-litre V12 engine with twin turbochargers.

Each Maybach is built to customer specifications with a wide variety of options and trim choices, but standard features include a DVD player, leather-covered dashboard, rear-seat refrigerator with sterling silver champagne goblets, remote-activated memory seats, television receiver, heated and ventilated seats with massage function, reclining rear seats with thigh support and footrest (in the 62), folding rear-seat tables finished in wood and Nappa leather, six-CD system, two telephones, electric tilt wheel, Parktronic parking aid, and individual front and rear automatic climate control systems. Should you wish to sit with the motor off, an optional solar module in the roof collects sunlight and converts it to electricity to power the ventilation fan. And just in case you have a few bucks left over, you can order your keys gold-plated.

Possibly the world’s most exclusive sedan, the Maybach comes with a list of standard and optional features that’s almost ridiculous in its length. Although the cars are sold in Canada, pricing is set in U.S. dollars. The basic 57 and 62 are incredibly powerful, the 57 S more so, but don’t expect them to make a dent in Ferrari or Lamborghini sales; this is like sitting in a living room that moves, albeit very quickly. The styling is more elegant than standout; this is old-world tradition mated to 21st-century technology, and really only has Rolls-Royce to worry about as competition.

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